tv Book Discussion on From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime CSPAN July 10, 2016 12:00am-1:01am EDT
so when he wasn't doing his politics would check up on monday who is notably depressive to see how he was doing. he felt that mo'ne was the treasurer of france and he the ultimately convinced monet to give a lot of his paintings to the country after he died. they are famous giant innings of water lilies but he was the man who made that happen. it's a fastening frigid between he and mo'ne that is at the center of this book. >> host: that's just a quick preview of some of the books coming out at bloomsbury. you are watching booktv on c-span2. ..
[inaudible conversations] >> hello everyone thinks for joining us today on behalf of the harvard book store i am pleased to welcome you to our friday forum presenting our new book from the war on poverty. the friday forum series takes place on friday afternoon during the academic year to highlight books in a wide range of scholarly fields the final book is malcolm spero and
his book handcuffs. visit us online order to pick up the book on your way out. the author talks and we will have questions and a book signing we do have copies for sale at the registers we are pleased to have c-span booktv here when asking questions please know you are recorded in please wait for the microphone to come to you. as ole is today's title is 20% off you supports the author series and insure the future of the independent bookstore. amply silence yourself phones. now i am pleased to introduce today speaker assistant professor from the department of history and
african-american studies at harvard. co-editor of the book the new black history she has been published in the journal of american history and today she will be discussing her new book the guardian calls it a new history a clear eye and timely book traces of president destrier complex back to what was created on the war on poverty. this is one that affects an enormous percentage of the country. we're so pleased to halt -- toaster here today. [applause]
>> thank you for this introduction it is an honor and of privilege to be here when know it is an incredibly busy time of year but it is overwhelming to see so many colleagues and friends and students that are in the midst of finals. this book is really the first historical account that tracesthe rise of mass incarceration in the united states the guardian calls it a pre-called to the work that michele a salad -- alexander has done and i take that as a complement. it is a labor of love with the white house central
files and then i began the project a decade ago as to why we need to steady crime control policy to understand those developments in the aftermath of the civil-rights movement and now they're at the forefront of national conversations from the democratic side say the fact you are all here now coming with those policy decisions that have been made over the past half century. the book is deeply rooted in the travel documents but i will read from the epilogue i hope he will read the book to provide the first
narrative account but if you don't get it to read the book to help the least everybody will walk away with the implications that ittook me and a decade of research to come into with the criminal justice reform or questions about of book itself there has been a lot of focus on the johns and administration thinking of the war on poverty but it is also a important to lay the groundwork for the crime control and the infrastructure that ronald reagan and to urge. >> the transformation of domestic policy followed a
historical pattern. in the shadow of emancipation and they stopped at a formal equality instead as the penal system a merged in fleecing that systematic criminalization leaving three people and their dependent to shape practices of the beginnings of reconstruction through the start of the war on crime after the dismantling of jim crow capable to sustain a new threshold the development of the year earlier period richard into a different approach. with equal opportunity satisfied federal policy makers to expose for americans to a dominant
values while alienating those of collective violence with the second half of the '60s priories shifted from fighting poverty to fighting crime for the right -- remainder of the decade with the surveillance measures of urban communities. those that had a concrete means to shelter in employment it increased during the ensuing 15 years. at the crime control strategies developed through the opposite impact in the cities and neighborhoods one of the most disturbing ironies in the history of american domestic policy by the time ronald reagan took office americans were fuller ball on to friends against each other and the
institutions of policies at the core of the national law enforcement program so we hope he will read about them in more detail except aimed to catch robberies in progress and underground economies to criminalize generations and black shoes to bring federal law enforcement authorities career criminal court units to expedite the justice system all that hastens the trend to internal violence and incarceration this gave rise to the network of social welfare institutions with the discourse serving
as the intellectual foundation. though long mobilization of social control and with a subsequent creation of new industries of support another late 20th-century the things that the policy -- policymakers to make it the highest levels of government but some of those choices may have been added different timer political moment. ultimately the bipartisan consensus fixated on the policing of urban space and removing generations of young men and women of color who lived inside the prison
we could excuse these decisions as a product of their time or as the electoral packet that still prevents the nation to realize the promise of principles. and tell the devastating outcomes have went unnoticed discrimination ended with the civil-rights movement and to move on it beyond race based issues.
unconstitutional to give convicted felons the right to go to ever since the of decision that 6 million americans most have already served sentences are deprived of of franchise. as a result of the racial disparities, an estimated one at a 13 african-americans will not vote in the 2016 election due to a prior conviction because of this disenfranchisement date of the '60s has come undone. party has a questionable situation it takes those that are incarcerated as
residents of poor they serve time in then to determine representation the rule area is home to the majority of prisons in other words, urban america favors democrats and ruled district's favor republicans gains representation and to read while public schools are more segregated today than before the civil-rights movement. so that that divided the great society to move towards a more equitable and just nation with the organization of social welfare program put if approved to be misleading to be designed by grass-roots
organizations with a top-level positions and before given a chance to work on the wider level the federal policy makers and a check on a more prominent role in low income neighborhoods. we can only imagine with look-alike today by a bipartisan mobilized behind the principle participation that spear the community action program for the same linkedin level of commitment and with the sense they are becoming unraveled federal policy makers are holding them accountable to take the
wrong policy to the militarized police forces and to build more prisons instead of seeking to resolve the problem with the it was largely relegated to the law enforcement around and they awarded the urban police department and other community-based programs. the white house department was far more interested for the omnipresent control in new law-enforcement technologies pueblo bluntly
with its unwillingness with the hierarchy's with this social economic relations historically the bipartisan consensus that they were governing themselves there is never in its history and the only race of which this is true i have been getting a lot of press lately and it is even more telling behind those policies of the administration and. as a critical component of the urban program to fund a citizen groups that advocated strategies that
were very much in line with the administration without oversight from police and authorities when reagan took office the rhetoric vanished from the area never to return and donned the punitive shift law-enforcement officers the only social services to render as a first point of contact police officers assume various duties depending on the group but they are charged with protecting police patrol of the white and middle class to guard the up property from outsiders is a search for suspects from the
streets the numbers of african-americans as a result of the differential approach from crime control legislation by introducing greater numbers of police officers federal policy makers with law-enforcement authorities only 4 percent of those police officers through the '70s were of african-american descent given the over representation and inside the prison system. baldwin answer to the impact of this as the only way to police the ghetto and was the force of the white world
to keep the ball like a man crawled here in his place like an occupied soldier threw bitterly hostile isle country those that would gladly see him dead if he knows that. and with individual policemen and. met with the deadly policing practices with the response of residents was the outcome of both historical development and socio-economic circumstances that shears he had been conditioned but more than a half a century of mass
incarceration becomes the most formal civil rights issue of our time to change their own circumstances at all levels climbed crime control is a local matter they should be responsible to keep their own communities safe. the reforms such as body gm's continued taxpayer dollars which is a process that began with the law enforcement assistance act the militarization of over policing a black neighborhoods that has proven highly the unsuccessful into fuel mass incarceration now is the time to try new strategies to autonomous grass-roots social program for the policy makers that were labeled the outside of the
service economy to see the entrenched inequalities that exist within the criminal justice system and in august august 2014 images of law enforcement drops tear-gas bombs shot to the heart of the american public galloped like a war zone prompting discussions among the general public since dollars and policy makers. with the general lack of accountability from the ferguson outbreak i will say their names in tribute to them.
they have set the new climate to for federal action in the conditions is an in the loss of their lives and other citizens that will never be known would not have existed and could have been avoided had federal policy-makers decide to respond in a different way to the civil-rights movement in the my in protest of the '60s. question is of intent to which federal policy makers of the choices that they made our only relevant to a certain extent will uncover a series of decisions in
order to discover our own natural history those domestic policies of black women and men in their communities they will shape like prospects for black children and their children's children even if the system is transformed once again this will not solve the nation's policing problems commuting sentences of the eight federal prisoners it would still be home if we only have those incarcerated as long as law-enforcement remains focused the regressive impulses of the last half century will continue to
change can you elaborate? >> if we want to think about the root causes of'' we call crime and violence that really stems from mass unemployment and the fact united states economy transition during the period from a vibrant manufacturing sector to out sourcing much of the slaves so in those communities where the federal government begins investing to augment the police force to simulate the new level of control to put their place under surveillance when really mostly white police officers is created there is into program to give low income people those new kinds of opportunities of job creation in terms of
rethinking education systems and going beyond the program with war and poverty to focus on equal opportunity programs we are more about providing trading -- trading without thinking about is that could the them to get a job after they have a series of training by the welfare programs. >>. >> could you talk about the business climate? >> yes. police officers, one way to approach public safety is to have them live in the
communities that they are responsible for keeping safe so instead of having people come to a community that all live and police and arrest people have those police officers live in the communities that they're there to protect to serve a different function this may be a romanticized view but it returns to the earlier forms of policing that we think about where they lived on the block they were responsible for before the era of modernized forces given a different level of responsibility and accountability when you're policing and neighbors instead of those you don't know or understand. >> i was wondering if you could look at what statute or legislative changes would be needed for what is
inherent in the system with their types of laws or statutes? massachusetts doesn't have a death penalty but with the most restrictive clauses in thecountry and to cede the criminalization of poverty every day. how do see that happening with the statute change? . . that's a fantastic question. you try to think about how to move beyond, part of what mass
incarceration is not just incarcerating people for minor offenses or drug things like drug possession, but the extent of american punitive miss. i believe there's currently 700,000 people serving life without parole sentences which is as large as the entire prison population in japan. so accompanying these gestures that we have met for d incarcerating nonviolent offenders and rethinking the way we prosecuted the warrant drugs, we we also need to think about ways in which our sentencing practices and provisions like three strike laws a mandatory minimum sentences, the widespread use of life without parole sentences which some people view is another form of the death penalty. we need to rethink the punitive miss of american statutes if we want to think about really enacting many boat criminal justice reform. of course as i mentioned the
first line of contacts between the criminal justice institutions and residents we need to rethink policing practices. if the police are meant to take on greater roles especially social welfare rolls as they have been asked to do, much to the result of the federal policies, then we also have to change within the police department so please are rewarded just as much for the community work they do as they are for apprehending suspects in high-speed chases and meeting their arrest quotas, et cetera. we need to rethink our sentencing provisions and also the general police practices that have been sustained for the past 50 years. >> do you see with the politics away to do it because who you elect makes the statutes. do you think that's viable? >> i think electoral politics is
key. i think everybody should vote in the selection and for lawmakers who we see represent in our own interest. i think it is also, and i hope that new research and new understanding of these issues especially qualitative research can really help us come to a new, identify new avenues for possible change. >> is wondering how much do you believe the changes in policing that you documented was facilitated by the actual communities? i think for instance there's a book on my title i cannot remember, maybe the black lives majority, you talked about members of the community desiring better policing, better control over at the time was a
large problem with violence. i'm wondering what your comments are in that. >> i recently co-authored an op-ed in the new york times that address some of this issue because similar arguments have been made in the case of that book. and that was about the rise of the rockefeller drug laws in the 94 crime bill. bill clinton himself and hillary clinton rationalize her rationalized her support of the bill by saying, this is something the cbc advocated for, this is what black communities want to. this this is the democratic process at work because were giving black constituents what they're asking for, but the the problem is in that narrative, it obscures the extent to which these calls for greater protection, the calls for for safety and communities were also accompanied with critiques of police brutality, with calls for new employment programs, calls for calls for rehabilitation, calls for crime prevention. despite the larger set of demands which usually included a
real critique of police brutality and aggressive law-enforcement and low-income communities, and that took into account a larger socioeconomic factor that contribute to problems of crime and violence. policymakers only responded to the demands for punitive programs. so so as we say in the op-ed, residents called for better policing and politicians heard more policing, and that is what they got. this is a historic trend. despite all of the demands that black activists have made, what they end up getting from the state tends to be punitive program, law-enforcement programs. >> it was published in april last month. >> i will accept your invitation , so much scholarship has been done on the recent
situation on the 90s and the role of the clinton administration and your work gives us the sixties, but tell tell us what happened in the late 70s. >> one of the things that i argue in the book is that carter, the deregulation and the the carter administration, the even stronger partnership that were forged between the public and private sector, especially to solve social problems begin to take hold in new ways during the carter administration. we can see the transition to deregulatory policies in the end reagan administration emerging. i think carter does not -- people don't necessarily discuss carter in that way. after johnson, with the nixon administration we do not get this rhetoric of community involvement that i mentioned in the epilogue and a focus on addressing urban problems such as employment, education, et cetera.
what carter ends up doing and this is reflective of where federal priorities were and where funding had been allocated by the time he took office, youth employment program during his administration for black youth takes the form of installing security cameras, barbed wires, bars on the window, extra locks within housing projects. so so in this sense, during the carter administration his major implement program forces african-american youth to become complacent to a degree in their surveillance and criminalization of their own communities. that is kind of a metaphor for the larger aspects and limitations of domestic policy after essentially a decade of the worn crime and this new federal crime control priority. >> moving forward, we put obama's federal policy within the context of.
[inaudible] or any number of cities that have been influenced or informed by obama's federal policy. draw the connection between obama, your analysis of his approach to this and the chicago, philly. >> what would you say obama's approach is to. >> i'm asking you. >> i don't necessarily think that obama's approach has been, as far as i'm concerned as far as i see it my brother's keeper right,. >> exactly. again it is a rhetoric of trying to do something, the kind of concrete we get the ferguson report for the department of justice which is a really in some ways dealing with racism at a level of extraction that is going on in many majority black cities like ferguson were
basically please come as a federal government said the ferguson police department is not functioning or was not functioning to keep citizens safe the but as a collection agency where it would profile and arrest people for failing to pay traffic tickets. so literally the ferguson police department when the city transitioned and continued this historical trend of distraction. the solution that we are getting to that our body cames. that seems to be the foremost reform that we have gotten in terms of dealing with the police and residents listening to each other. this is outside outside of obama releasing nonviolent drug offenders, the format that is currently before congress that they've tried to do cars rate. but the body can, not only does it directly benefit private companies like taser, which tragically and ironically taser
provides officers with some guns, provides them with instruments of brutality, and now and now they are profiting off body cams which are supposed to hold officers accountable, but what they also do is open up a new data collection monster on top of the other criminal justice databank that we have which will then create new opportunities for private sector to try to come in and analyze that data. again, this is a band-aid to the problem. it does not solve the real root causes of police community tensions. until until police departments in the residence that they are responsible for patrolling and surveilling are able to sit at the table together where residents could have a voice and input over the program and the policing program that is being implemented in the communities about body cams are going to perhaps open up a new level of issues and problems that we cannot even perceive. for taser though it continues to
be good business. >> johnson versus obama. >> that is a hard question what about nixon versus obama. nixon is far to the left of obama in many respects. >> i did not want to go there, but you're right. so johnson versus obama, where would you -- given his messy policy initiatives. >> the warm property and i am critical of john johnsons were poverty because that's her job on historians to be critical of even figures in programs that we admire. johnson is a complicated figure. the warm poverty in the promise of the principle of maximum feasible participation is something that i think we really need to return to.
if we want to think about a roadmap where precedent for policies moving forward we need to look at some of the early, the earlier ideas that were emerging in the kennedy and johnson administration. many times johnson took the urban program to the kennedy administration had developed on an experimental level and implemented them nationwide. returning to these principles of them hiring communities to direct and shape the programs and resources that they are receiving from the federal government i think is important. i think there is a role for the federal government in promoting greater opportunity and promoting and lessening inequality and united states and opening up new dialogue to address the long-term consequence of racism, discrimination and class inequality and united states.
>> you are saying about it being a band-aid in any of this into your last point you just mentioned, i'm wondering if there's any possibility of moving forward unless there is some kind of acknowledgment that 1865 did not and everything, simply evolved after that and there has been no suggestion of any further reconciliation or any kind of national conversation. i'm wondering if where that might figure into your excellent book. >> i think it is something that is completely necessary. that's one of the things that is been exciting about finishing this research and revising the book over the past year. when black lives matter in the awareness and coverage of what has been going on since the mid- 60s and low income communities and targeted african-american communities it's beginning to be part of the national discussion.
the fact that hillary clinton talks about an ending inequality the mission of her presidency should she become elected, i, i think it is encouraging. harriet tubman is going to be on the 20-dollar bill, the question is whether it will move beyond these conversations in this room and elsewhere into concrete change and a growing growing awareness and a change in consciousness about who gets to be a citizen, who who doesn't, who should be included, who should intent how much opportunity we should provide to citizens who have been systematically and historically excluded from access from basic resources, including in the case of flints, water that is not poisoned. >> is an amazing book, incredible work i actually just
wanted to ask an historical question about the maximum feasible participation arguments, how much of the decline in the appeal of that ideal to think turns on the robust participation of black power militants and community control programs and in community programming? so how much would you put on the black powers insurgent into the fear, and then this is difficult, but how would you even suggest a johnson administration, and the administration, would be capable of navigating that dilemma, so black militants organized control of community control programs?
>> that's in a sling question and difficult to answer. in terms of maximum feasible -- a johnson almost immediately after the federal government began funding these grassroots organizations like the woodlawn in chicago which was involved in the gangster disciples and gang membership, the question as to what extent would they really oppose this because they did not want to see their power to grassroots organizations. so as a way to remedy the situation johnson not only institutionalizes many of the programs on the warm poverty but local authorities are new levels of oversight and power within these community organizations like woodlawn, local officials charge that this was a voter registration drive for the democratic party and so johnson increasingly backed off. even morning think this is an essential argument in the book,
even more involved with these culture community control what really had rocked johnson and liberal sympathizers further away from the more transit formative liberal reforms are the uprisings in the sixties, beginning with the harlem and 64, harlem, chicago, philadelphia, brooklyn, rochester, new york, and that continues to escalate every single years as more and more resources are being allocated towards the worn crime. so johnson and his advisers debated the extent to which these uprisings, these these riots were somehow political in nature. they recognize that issues of unemployment, the the issues of lack of access to education. the same grievances that were shared by the civil rights movement had inspired these incidents of collective urban violence.
but instead of saying we can respond to these issues with actually, we obviously haven't gone far enough with the warm poverty, maybe we really do need a structural solution if we want to prevent future uprisings from happening. instead, they away from warm poverty programs and increasingly turned toward the worn crime and really the emerging the warm poverty with the worn crime as a way to suppress future uprisings. >> i didn't answer your second question but that's okay, i'll get to it later. >> talking about the black power, for those of us that are old enough to have been around, what you do, there's a black power piece and then there was the corruption and
disorganization but there's a lot of hustling. i'm old enough to remember a lot of the community-based programs of philly. you had the black muslims, frank rizzo and the bruno family, all operating in concert. so in that context where the narrative gets a little stickier, more complicated because there actually is corruption and gangster stuff, because they respond in part to that because they had a couple of case studies in i know the philadelphia case. they were pretty remarkable. in the case of woodlawn in chicago, it was arthur -- so that was a faith-based program. it was was led by the churches in the area. what do we do with that? here part of the difficulty is there is a criminal element to the left and this is my discussion with brandon, never quite knew what to do with it. so the narrative of white folk, black folk, black liberation and then there is a third wrinkle
which is the complicated nature of the path for a black militants had a criminal link to. so my question is, how do you put that into your analysis. i'm trying to complicate the analysis. so how does one filter that element? into your analysis. >> initial thought when we're talking about corruption especially during that period in the nixon administration is there's corruption running through, the ways in which these programs are implemented on the local level, in some ways there is corruption within some of the organizations being funded but there's corruption within ways in which programs are even selected to be funded and things like that. that is a problem with the kind of bureaucracy in some ways that is created. we see this corruption at the highest level taking off during the nixon administration. there is corruption, there is
white-collar corruption there's corruption among policymakers and the wave the programs have been administrated. what we see in watergate is very much reflected in the ways in which nixon's friend and supporters get the local crime control. similar things happen with the warm poverty. when. when the federal government introduces and begins funding as we see with the body cans, they create channels where funding is available than groups will emerge to reap that. the problem is that especially when you're dealing with these kind of more transformative programs with less oversight from state officials, these programs are cut off before they are really given a chance to work. >> one thing that your book does
well and we'll talk about corruption, you do a good job of giving us an evenhanded amounts of democrats and republicans, i just wanted to have your comments a bit about what i perceived to be an issue of disenfranchised chai spent between african-americans with a voting bar with being left with just democrats been representatives in the government for things. whether it's at the local level or the national level. how is that contributed to an inability on the part of ordinary citizens to actually get their leaders to respond to them in part because sometimes there is an issue of this client to relationship for their being taken as given. >> the last half-century if not before the democratic party has taken for granted
african-american voters, latino voters and is able to make these rhetorical gestures without necessarily enacting policies that really address the issues that are most important to them. we see this very much in the administration not only with a crime bill which exacerbated and are ready bubbling prison population, the prison population explodes as a result of this so we get that and it increases the death penalty, provisions, two years later we get there welfare reform bill which is really hillary will say in campaign speeches that the black middle class rose in the 90s and things like that but the number of americans living in extreme poverty increased drastically during the clinton administration. part of it is, think that you social movements, discussions b discussions that are being opened up by groups like black lives matter of putting pressure
on the democratic party to address issues of police community intentions and policing. educational disparities. reentry programs that will provide people with housing and education and things like that. it is up to us to keep that pressure going in this gets one of the questions that the reverend raised earlier that perhaps because it looks like and less there's a huge surprise that we are not going to get another lack president, perhaps the next president will be able to do, especially if it is someone in the democratic party will be able to actually address racial issues head-on in a way that barack obama, being the first black president cannot. i am hopeful that we are coming to this moment of change as history shows us it is not as if
these changes are going to come out of the goodness of policymakers hearts. we have have to keep the pressure on them. >> there is also the rhetoric of what we are losing white voters so what do we do, which we know have looked at the middleground type revenant's. so aren't you also worried that perhaps even with all of these pressures the democratic party is having to face the decline in white voters and may have to respond to that? >> in so many ways i am not a political pundit and so -- what we are seeing now in terms of the way the election has unfolded already reflect that we still remain in many ways any
quality is widening. the civil rights and the warm poverty because it does not involve a major structural transformation. that is not what congress intended it to be. were be. were dealing with the consequences of this in the ways in which race has played the psychological ledge and keeping people whose interest in many ways or share and opposed to one another. were seeing seeing the long-term consequences of that beginning to play out. i hope as we begin to have these conversations and think about the choices that we've made in terms of policy and begin to reckon with her history that perhaps new coalitions and even new political parties will form out of this moment that we are in right now. >> last question. >> i'm wondering if you can theorize. >> i feel like i been theorizing >> how do you get trump supporters party supporters to
agree or begin to see things? i think the big problem with a lot of these discussions is that if you can forgive the term the they come a bit epidemic. we not able to get those who do not agree with the citizens, people who believe that america is at best days were 100 years ago, to actually see that there are changes. so how do we begin the process? >> that is a great question. it's a hard question. i. i think we're so divided unfortunately as a nation and all the different classifications and categories. many of them are arbitrary that we assigned to the other two people that we do not know. that prevents us from being able to form these coalitions that you are suggesting. if you look at just the example of criminal justice reform, people web been incarcerated who
are just coming out of the prison system are at the forefront of this movement. i think once people begin to know someone who is incarcerated if they don't already and begin to interacted people and have dialogue, people's worldview worldview and their opinions on things begin to change. part of it is we are so segregated not just by race but in society that we really need to begin and i sound kind of like what hillary clinton is talking about but we need to see that we actually have far more in common than we do things that divide us. things things that divide us really don't matter. it is difficult to think about how in a large-scale like immediate way how to change that. it does take exposure to communities and people who you thought acted a certain way and had a certain kind of believer be in a certain way to see that
they are not that different than you are. then hopefully we can begin to actually act as a collective instead of acting in our own self-interest. thank you you for the question. it's a tough one. [applause]. thank you everyone. >> we will have signing right here. >> here's a look at books that are being published this week. congressman darrell talks about